Monday, July 27, 2009

aspiring domestic diva

I've had it out for the ultra-feminists lately. They've really messed things up for the rest of us regular feminists.

I'm glad for the rights that I now enjoy. I fully realize that women have gained some of these rights in the fairly recent past.

But I think the feminists should have stopped while they were ahead.

Before I go any further, let me clarify: I know that women often times HAVE to work; some for a short time, others for a lifetime. You gotta do what you gotta do.

I do not think that women were designed for this working outside the house thing.

Yup. I just wrote that.

Before you get all worked up, let me explain.

As a little girl, all I wanted was to get married and be a mom. Like many girls, I had dolls and a play kitchen set. Unlike many girls, my kid sized table had a tablecloth and napkins that matched the decor of my room. And very unlike other girls, I made my own washer and dryer out of looseleaf paper and scotch tape.

Then I went to school. And just so happened to be quite good at it. So between academics and all those other activities you're supposed to do in order to be "well-rounded" I got swept up in being smart enough and good enough to be anything I wanted when I grew up, so long as it involved several advanced degrees.

Somehow in getting those advanced degrees* it occurred to me to include a husband and a family in the equation. Which pretty much meant that I decided I was going to be Super Woman.

I was going to have an amazing, fulfilling, successful career AND be an attentive wife AND be the mom with homemade cookies.

My first two years out of school, I worked hard at my career. Got there early and stayed late sort of hard. I ate all three meals at my desk some days. Friends were for weekends only. I was determined to be a licensed architect by 30. ** Yes, I was tired but it was worth it, right?***

Fast forward to now and the "economic downturn"... Instead of letting anyone go at work, we all took pay cuts. Since I get paid by the hour, this means that I now work fewer hours.

At first, I was pretty upset. I still miss the rest of my paycheck. But I now have an extra day off each week and I only have to put in 8 hours each day, leaving me with plenty of spare time.

Over the past several months I have: tiled a shower, baked several cakes, made cards, organized some of the house, run tons of errands, cooked some amazing dinners, baked bread, cleaned the dog/cat fur more regularly, made my own household cleaners, etc.

I have felt more like myself than I have in years. It's an amazing feeling to feel like yourself. I'm really happy when I'm cutting veggies or painting something or straightening up the house. And if my activity does something to help someone or brighten their day, even better.

Which got me to thinking... maybe the dream I had as a little girl wasn't so crazy. Maybe this was what I was meant to do.

Many of my friends (myself included) are quite good at their jobs. We patiently deal with clients each day, create order out of chaos, juggle super human workloads and get people to play nice. As women, we're nurturing and that's what makes us great sales executives and project managers. We're motivated by a job done well and efficiently and not as much by the dollar.

As a result, we're tired and stressed. Worse, we're left feeling unfulfilled. This brokenness starts to spill over into all aspects of our lives and that cannot possibly be a good thing.

Which brings me back to my point. While we're clearly capable of doing all kinds of work, we're simply not designed to do it at a 9-5 job.****

Please join me as we start a revolution. We are aspiring domestic divas. We will be the women God designed us to be.

We will go to college, graduate, and get jobs. We will not lose ourselves in work or have jobs that leave us drained.

And when we're at home, we will not be ashamed to admit that we like cooking or keeping house. We will not be ashamed of our ability to throw an impromptu dinner party or sew cute pillows.

And when we get married... watch out, world!

I would like to suggest that an aspiring domestic diva work less than full time after she gets married. She can bring in some extra money to be set aside for the future but still have the time and energy to care for her husband and her home. We will not be ashamed to admit that we like having a decent meal ready for the husband when he gets home from work.

And when there are kids, we will not be embarrassed about wanting to spend as much time as possible with our children. If we're lucky enough to be able to stay home full-time (or even part-time), we will put all those job skills to good use: We [will] patiently deal with [kids] each day, create order out of chaos, juggle super human workloads and get people to play nice.

We will not feel as if we're wasting our education or that we've fallen off the career ladder. Everything we're doing now is simply training and experience for our careers as domestic divas.

An aspiring domestic diva is smart, capable and talented. She cares for those around her whether friends, a pet or a husband and kids. She is who God made her to be and not who the world wants her to be.

I'm excited to tell you more about this revolution. Stay tuned...

* In case you care, I have degrees in Journalism and Architecture. I work for an architecture firm.
** This could happen if I would study. People watching is more fun.
*** However, very difficult to add "husband" to the equation if you're so busy working that you don't have the time or energy to be social.
**** For those women who truly enjoy their careers, good for you! A woman's perspective is much needed in the workplace.